Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Tropical forest conservation: Developing without deforestation

Understanding the impacts of government interventions intended to support rural development — such as strengthening land rights or boosting commercial agriculture — is crucial for designing better policies. Two recent studies highlight some of the complexities in measuring outcomes for people and forests.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Blackman, A., Corral, L., Lima, E. S. & Asner, G. P. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 114, 4123–4128 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Kovacic, Z. & Viteri Salazar, O. J. Rural Stud. 51, 105–114 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Robinson, B. E., Holland, M. B. & Naughton-Treves, L. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA (2017).

  4. 4

    Angelsen, A. & Wunder, S. Exploring the Forest–Poverty Link: Key Concepts, Issues and Research Implications (CIFOR, 2003).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    McKinnon, M. C. et al. Environ. Evid. 5, 8 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Ferraro, P. J. & Hanauer, M. M. Annu. Rev. Environ. Res. 39, 495–517 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Campos, M. T. & Nepstad, D. C. Conserv. Biol. 20, 1553–1556 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Nolte, C., Agrawal, A., Silvius, K. M. & Soares-Filho, B. S. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 4956–4961 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ben Phalan.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Phalan, B., Hajjar, R. Tropical forest conservation: Developing without deforestation. Nature Plants 3, 17120 (2017).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing